Undecided But Not Alone: Tips for Choosing College Majors

Like many college freshmen, you may be entering college unsure of what to study. With a wide selection of college majors available to choose from—and infinitely more professional paths to head out on after college—it’s normal to be undecided. You’re not the only one still exploring the many options available. You just need to find the support and resources available to help you make your decision.

Explore New Interests

Freshman and sophomore years are the perfect time to explore new interests and topics of study that you haven’t heard of or tried before. Many students discover new interests once they get to college and find a new field that intrigues them. Joining groups with a specific interest may help you discover a new passion that you have yet to consider.

Getting involved on campus is not only a wonderful way to build new friendships, but it can also be a great way to learn about different career fields. Many organizations are focused on different academic interests, like a robotics club or chemistry club, and can give you insight into fields such as engineering or science. You’ll meet people who are also exploring their major options and get a closer look as to what this subject is all about through events, projects, and meetings.

Leverage Your Electives

One of the best things about being a freshman and not having declared a major yet is that you’re free to study any elective courses that catch your eye. As a freshman, you’ll have general education classes that you’re required to take, but apart from those, let your interests dictate your courses.

All college majors have a specific set of electives to choose from before declaring a major. Choose elective courses related to fields that spark your interest. Maybe there’s a class for marketing, journalism, social work, or Spanish that seems interesting. By trying different electives, you can discover whether or not a subject engages you.

And if you’re really looking for a challenge, consider trying out an unfamiliar course about something new. You may be pleasantly surprised! Maybe it won’t be what you expected, or maybe you’ll find your calling. Give the course catalog a thorough read before making any final decisions. Don’t be afraid of choosing the 8 a.m. courses!

Rely on Support Systems

Even if you’re not sure what you want to study, you have the support you need to help you decide. Professors and mentors are there to guide you through this process. Jeffrey S. Boian, director of Azusa Pacific University’s Exploring Program, encourages students to “find things in which they can succeed, and the passion for certain topics can and, often will, follow.”

“We don’t always have to make decisions based on what it is that we are passionate about,” he continues. “We all need to do good work well, and somewhere along the way, we will discover what we love and want to do aspects of that for the rest of our lives.”

If you take advantage of the support of your professors and mentors, and the various opportunities to explore that college provides, you can find the major that is right for you.